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The Man Who Rocked the Earth   By: (1875-1945)

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The MAN WHO ROCKED THE EARTH

By ARTHUR TRAIN AND ROBERT WILLIAMS WOOD

Reprint Edition 1974 by Arno Press Inc. A New York Times Company New York 1975

SCIENCE FICTION ADVISORY EDITORS R. Reginald Douglas Menville

Copyright © 1915 by Doubleday, Page & Company

All rights reserved, including that of translation into foreign languages, including the Scandinavian

Reprinted by permission of Mrs. Robert W. Wood

Reprinted from a copy in The Library of the University of California, Riverside

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data

Train, Arthur Cheney, 1875 1945. The man who rocked the earth.

(Science fiction) Reprint of the ed. published by Doubleday, Page, Garden City, N. Y.

I. Wood, Robert Williams, 1868 1955, joint author. II. Title. III. Series. PZ3.T682Mak6 [PS3539.R23] 813'.5'2 74 16523 ISBN 0 405 06315 6

THE MAN WHO ROCKED THE EARTH

"I thought, too, of the first and most significant realization which the reading of astronomy imposes: that of the exceeding delicacy of the world's position; how, indeed, we are dependent for life, and all that now is, upon the small matter of the tilt of the poles; and that we, as men, are products, as it were, not only of earth's precarious position, but of her more precarious tilt." W. L. COMFORT, Nov., 1914

[Illustration: INSTANTLY THE EARTH BLEW UP LIKE A CANNON UP INTO THE AIR, A THOUSAND MILES UP]

PROLOGUE

By July 1, 1916, the war had involved every civilized nation upon the globe except the United States of North and of South America, which had up to that time succeeded in maintaining their neutrality. Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Switzerland, Poland, Austria Hungary, Lombardy, and Servia, had been devastated. Five million adult male human beings had been exterminated by the machines of war, by disease, and by famine. Ten million had been crippled or invalided. Fifteen million women and children had been rendered widows or orphans. Industry there was none. No crops were harvested or sown. The ocean was devoid of sails. Throughout European Christendom women had taken the place of men as field hands, labourers, mechanics, merchants, and manufacturers. The amalgamated debt of the involved nations, amounting to more than $100,000,000,000, had bankrupted the world. Yet the starving armies continued to slaughter one another.

Siberia was a vast charnel house of Tartars, Chinese, and Russians. Northern Africa was a holocaust. Within sixty miles of Paris lay an army of two million Germans, while three million Russians had invested Berlin. In Belgium an English army of eight hundred and fifty thousand men faced an equal force of Prussians and Austrians, neither daring to take the offensive.

The inventive genius of mankind, stimulated by the exigencies of war, had produced a multitude of death dealing mechanisms, most of which had in turn been rendered ineffective by some counter invention of another nation. Three of these products of the human brain, however, remained unneutralized and in large part accounted for the impasse at which the hostile armies found themselves. One of these had revolutionized warfare in the field, and the other two had destroyed those two most important factors of the preliminary campaign the aeroplane and the submarine. The German dirigibles had all been annihilated within the first ten months of the war in their great cross channel raid by Pathé contact bombs trailed at the ends of wires by high flying French planes. This, of course, had from the beginning been confidently predicted by the French War Department. But by November, 1915, both the allied and the German aerial fleets had been wiped from the clouds by Federston's vortex guns, which by projecting a whirling ring of air to a height of over five thousand feet crumpled the craft in mid sky like so many butterflies in a simoon... Continue reading book >>




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